Why Prayer needs to be the First Action Step we Take

“All you have to do is pray”. “Prayer is the first thing and only thing you need to do”. I’ve been in full-time ministry for over 20 years now and those are two phrases I have heard so many times. While those phrases are 100% true, the longer you do ministry, the longer you rely on your own experiences more and more. This may not be the case with every minister, but I do find it to be true of a lot…myself included.

This is changing. And I don’t know when the last time I’ve been this excited. It started when my Lead Pastor started leading us through a new Discipleship strategy for our Staff and eventually our Church. The starting point was prayer and for us to commit to praying for people to disciple.

As I began to reflect on where we need to be as a Student Ministry and how to apply this discipleship strategy to our student program, I realized I needed to commit to prayer. Where this became most evident was when I met with three trusted men to start processing and strategizing, we all agreed that the first action step we needed to take was to pray and be committed to prayer. There is lots to do in our ministry, but we need God’s direction.

This isn’t a cop out. Rather, this is the most important action step you can take as a minister. You are placing your trust and hope in God’s guidance and His leading.

prayerWhen the four of us prayed that day we prayed specifically for more volunteer leaders. Later that evening, I got a text message from a former volunteer leader who needed to get something from me. I have not heard much from this person over the past few years but she was one of my best leaders years ago. I didn’t think much about it until we met up the following day to for me to get her what she was asking for. It was then that I realized that we were praying for leaders and here we have a potential right in front of me. So, I told her the story and I boldly asked her to consider being a leader again.

I asked her boldly because I felt that this was God driven and I needed to act on it. She was surprised by my ask and she said she would strongly consider it. I’m not going to lie, I think I have a shot here. Not because it was me driven, but because God set it up. And, I wouldn’t have seen this that way unless I was praying.

Ministry is crazy, challenging and good all at the same time. In order to make sense of it all, we need to be in prayer. Prayer is the first action step you need to take each and every day. The more we become reliant on our own experiences and less reliant on God, the more we get ourselves in trouble. Commit to prayer, look for Him to act and see what great experiences He provides.

What do you think? How have you seen God respond to prayer in your ministry before? Share below or on social media using #ymsidekick when you share.

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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